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Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Behind the Scenes Part 1

Amritz Lay's Avatar Posted by Associate Director of Product Marketing, Square-Enix

In 25 years, Square Enix and the Final Fantasy development team have never had a behind-the-scenes look at how the franchise is created. Until now.

We’re excited to unveil a brand new series titled “Inside the Square,” which takes an in-depth look at one of the greatest RPG franchises around.

Earlier this year, we ventured out to Tokyo with an Emmy award winning camera crew to spend time with Yoshinori Kitase, Motomu Toriyama, and the entire Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII development team. We quickly realized that each member of this incredibly talented group has a lot to say. Furthermore, the Final Fantasy franchise has such a rich history and so many moving parts, we couldn’t properly showcase how these games are made in one video — so you get to witness the first of a three part series.

Our goal with this series is to show everyone a different side of the development staff, and what it’s like to work at one of the most prolific video game companies in the world — Square Enix. We also wanted to give everyone out there a greater appreciation for the franchise that we had sleepless nights playing through, and now for the upcoming end of Lightning’s saga — Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII.

Lightning Returns, Gamescom, 04

With that, we hope you enjoy watching this episode of “Inside the Square” half as much as we did in creating it!

In case you didn’t already know, preordering Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII equips you with Cloud Strife’s buster sword, Soldier 1st Class uniform, and victory fanfare… all for the low price of… FREE (with game purchase)! Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII is coming to PS3 on February 11, 2014 for $59.99.

Questions? Comments? Anything in particular you’d like to see for the next episode of “Inside the Square?” Let us know, below!

Add Your Own

Teflon02 said:

August 30th, 8:07 am

I want this, but by the time this releases I won’t wanna buy a PS3 game, I’m a be hooked on PS4. I know cause I barely play PS3 cause I’m always on Vita now

jose213jose said:

August 30th, 8:08 am

Hmm just hope LRFF13 will have great ending that fix everything so everyone can be happy and win without losing anyone at all.

AriesWarlock said:

August 30th, 8:10 am

Remake of FF6, please :)

Teflon02 said:

August 30th, 8:10 am

Square Enix Rep. a Question
Can we get a confirmation on whether FFX and FFX-2 HD on Vita will get physical releases? I would love them to even if they were 30 a piece, but wither way I just want it confirmed already

Ryumoau said:

August 30th, 8:20 am

If this game has a story as uninteresting as 13 or characters as flat as in 13-2, i’ll have to pass. The combat system was the only thing i enjoyed about the FF13 series.

Ryumoau said:

August 30th, 8:25 am

Also, since the article seems to be written from someone from Square, i thought i’d ask if we would be getting a digital release for Kingdom Hearts HD collection on psn?

I heard rumors that legal issues may have prevented you from releasing any KH games digitally, but it seems Disney has had no problem with digital releases of their games lately.

I am stuck playing digital only games because my disk reader no longer works on my ps3, so i just thought i’d try to get an official answer about the digital situation on Kingdom Hearts games.

If you are unable to do a digital release, its fine. I’ll have to wait for KH3 on ps4 i guess. :)

cloud73 said:

August 30th, 8:44 am

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII is looking good and I am looking forward to the game next year.
Will Final Fantasy X/X2 Hd be coming out this year?

tusunami said:

August 30th, 8:47 am

I still haven’t played the 1st game maybe when I have my 2wk vacation I’ll check it out.

zingakun said:

August 30th, 8:48 am

Great video. It’s always a pleasure to meet the team behind my favorite hobby :)

Please bring more interviews from game dev teams from Japan!

Souledge94 said:

August 30th, 8:52 am

I personally feel 13 closed the story very nice and tight. I just hope lighting returns can do the same. I enjoyed both previous games and cant wait to get my hands on this one.

KazeEternal said:

August 30th, 8:54 am

Final Fantasy XIII was not the first in the series to receive a trilogy. Quit rewriting history Square.
Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VII Advent Children
Final Fantasy VII Before Crisis
Final Fantasy VII Crisis Core
Final Fantasy VII Dirge of Cerberus
Final Fantasy VII Last Order

Care to try again?

Fans Asked for Lightning? I think we were just confused why Serah was made the main character for the second game instead of lightning. Lightning who sucks to begin with would have been a better choice than Serah considering how Serah was portrayed.

U_NO_HOO said:

August 30th, 8:58 am

Square should release a Final Fantasy XIII collection, that comes with all 3 games. Also Final Fantasy XII needs a HD remake after X, or at least needs to be put on the playstation store as a ps2 classic. Can’t wait for kingdom hearts hd and FF X HD!

Souledge94 said:

August 30th, 9:00 am


They proboly will. As of now japan is getting some special set that has all 3 games.

PZDugna said:

August 30th, 9:36 am

@11 those are spin offs not sequels….they are not rewriting history…and Lightning is actually popular as a character and the 13 series has acutally sold pretty well…stop being so damn nostalgia blinded.

PZDugna said:

August 30th, 9:37 am

Friend is going to pre-order this and i hope to play off his copy so i can experience this…one thing i hated in 13-2 was how much the ending was just a bait for wanting the next one…

FearMonkey said:

August 30th, 9:39 am

Pre-ordered it a long time ago.

I can’t wait to hopefully sacrifice Snow to save the world. Easy decision.

And yes, I’ve been the one asking for more Lightning. she’s mai waifu. <3

Apeman24 said:

August 30th, 10:20 am

Thanks for the post, I will be picking mine up on launch day.

AliciaDarky said:

August 30th, 10:54 am

I just wannna buy Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn and play it right now! -.-.

donjohn123 said:

August 30th, 11:11 am

This is not a Trilogy at all , all those games are a prequel of Final Fantasy VII


+ KazeEternal on August 30th, 2013 at 8:54 am said:

Final Fantasy XIII was not the first in the series to receive a trilogy. Quit rewriting history Square.
Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VII Advent Children
Final Fantasy VII Before Crisis
Final Fantasy VII Crisis Core
Final Fantasy VII Dirge of Cerberus
Final Fantasy VII Last Order

Care to try again?

Fans Asked for Lightning? I think we were just confused why Serah was made the main character for the second game instead of lightning. Lightning who sucks to begin with would have been a better choice than Serah considering how Serah was portrayed.

fredster90 said:

August 30th, 12:04 pm

@playstation I strongly feel leke EA has chosen sides with the XBOXone, they’ve made a first person shooter that many of the players who have played it are calling it the call of duty killer, and for no reason made it exclusive for microsoft and on top of that, they also anounced a free copy of fifa 14 with the purchase of an xbox one. Cleaely choosing sides. They clame that they’re not favoring a microsoft over sony that its just very important that both consoles sell very well and that microsoft needs to catch up, but to me its like, what do you care how the console does it there fault not the consumers of your games. Xbox one ist starting to sound better and better each day. Now, I’m not saying ima get one. I’m just saying sony should come up with several bundles one in particular that says something like forget you EA, we’re strong enough without you!!!

Studdzilla said:

August 30th, 12:19 pm

With how radically different Square is taking one of it’s most beloved franchises with each new game, I’m personally going to have to wait for reviews before I consider dropping 60 dollars on another Final Fantasy game. I did enjoy FF13 for what is was (a straight line dungeon crawl with fun combat) but I however was not a fan a XIII-2 and it’s terrible cast of characters.

Erlaxis said:

August 30th, 12:20 pm

I enjoyed the first game a lot. Haven’t played the second, but I have it on my shelf. I have to play it soon, because I’m interested in this one.

And I personally enjoy knowing more about the game-creating process. It’s amazing seeing so many talented people working in such complex and interesting projects.

sharpshot909 said:

August 30th, 4:30 pm

Can we please have more Final Fantasy XV news?

Rune_Valkyrie said:

August 30th, 5:43 pm

As much as I want this 3rd and final chapter of FFXIII. I’m Still hoping we get FF I&II Anniversary Edition on our NA PSN for our VItas/PSPgo. Whats taking so long for this masterpiece, so many ppl wants this version.

KazeEternal said:

August 30th, 6:03 pm

@14 @19
You both are wrong.

Definition of a Trilogy: A group of three dramatic or literary works related in subject or theme.

Doesn’t matter if they are prequals or not. However you also wrong that all of those works are prequals. Final Fantasy VII Dirge of Cerberus and Final Fantasy VII Advent Children both take place after Final Fantasy VII. Another game was also planned for after FF7 Dirge of Cerberus that never came to pass that would have covered the re-emergence of Genesis.

Anyway all of those works were connected by subject and/or theme.

rabidninjamonky said:

August 30th, 6:23 pm

How does the worst Final Fantasy get two sequels? I hated Ff13. I had it preordered for 6 months and traded it in two days after getting it. As bad as it is, Ff15 somehow looks even worse! Final Fantasy games aren’t even rpgs anymore. They are just action games with convoluted plots and boring gameplay now.

jose_101981 said:

August 30th, 6:50 pm

I want this game ……. Al this game is really impresive in tne story … The characters……. Graphics is my favorite is a great game and awesome saga……. And lighting is jthe best …

KanesInferno said:

August 30th, 7:17 pm

So excited for this game. I love XIII and XIII-2.

KnifingGrimace said:

August 30th, 7:54 pm

I’ll probably get this at some point. I’m not a fan of XIII, but I do like Lightning as a character after her role in Dissidia Duodecim. I’ve gotta say though, I think that Motomu Toriyama making a point to increase Lightning’s bust size from C to D is really shallow and creepy.

Furthermore, I’m really interested in the Final Fantasy XIII costumes and weapons to be added to FFXIV. Keep up the cool, guys.

SNORLAXex said:

August 30th, 8:37 pm

So guys….how about that Type-0 Localization…how’s that going?

american_36 said:

August 30th, 11:03 pm

i really didnt like how they renamed their franchise from J-RPG to Action-RPG at the end of the show..this leaves a bad taste in my mouth, since i loved FF for being a J-RPG franchise-.-

idn86i said:

August 31st, 12:08 am


-_- That doesn’t count as a trilogy… More like spin-offs.

PrinceofXIII said:

August 31st, 12:16 am

amazing episode :D

neuropunk said:

August 31st, 2:34 pm

Young kiddo gamers that are too young to realize what truly great games are, and so they buy mediocre trash like the Final Fantasy XIII series.

Go the hell away Lightning, nobody likes you!

Lightning Won’t Leave: Lightning Fantasy XIII-17

subsamuel01 said:

August 31st, 3:22 pm

I’m just waiting for FFXV, not a huge fan of the lightning trilogy.

altrodesi said:

August 31st, 3:44 pm

I would love to see this Final Fantasy’s art book… It has some of the best environments, special effects and detailed character models iv’e seen. Will this happen anytime soon?

chrisgomez3030 said:

August 31st, 4:52 pm

nice! looking forward to this one.

Fettster777 said:

September 1st, 8:51 pm

FFX/X-2 HD has been delayed until 2014. Expected February 2014…..the same time as Lightning Returns.

Corbinator78 said:

September 1st, 11:15 pm

As a fan of FFXIII and FFXIII-2, I’ll be picking up a copy of this one when it releases next year. I’m also looking forward for the HD edition of FFX and FFX-2, and the long awaited FFXV!


September 28th, 11:49 pm

I never played any of the Final Fantasy franchise. It was before my time and frankly there was nothing to interest me but then I heard that this one was coming out and an online version and suddenly I’m intrigued.

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